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Viviscal Hair Growth Supplement Review: Does It Work for Hair Loss?

By Erika Thiede, MS, RDN, CSSD

Medically Reviewed by Natalie Olsen, MS, RDN, LD, ACSM-EP

Published on April 4, 2022

Dietitian Rating:

4.0

About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Support for Claims:4.5
  • Ingredient Safety:4.0
  • Value for the Price:4.0
  • Brand Transparency:3.5

Viviscal is a hair growth supplement backed by several clinical trials. The use of Viviscal is promising for hair growth but may require continued use for sustained results.

Written by
Erika Thiede, MS, RDN, CSSD
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Integrative and Functional Nutritionist
Erika Thiede is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with 10 years of experience in the field of nutrition. While at USC, Erika worked alongside the head sports dietitian, allowing her to realize her true passion was in the field of nutrition and dietetics. Erika completed her master’s degree at Loma Linda University and became a registered dietitian in 2015.
Medically Reviewed by
Natalie Olsen, MS, RDN, LD, ACSM-EP
Registered Dietitian, Certified Exercise Physiologist
Natalie is a registered dietitian, functional medicine practitioner and certified exercise physiologist with over 15 years experience in the health and wellness industry and holds a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine through a collaborative program provided by the University of Western States and the Institute of Functional Medicine.
Viviscal Hair Growth Supplement Review: Does It Work for Hair Loss?
Photo credit: iStock.com/ferrantraite

Pros

  • Multiple clinical studies published in peer-reviewed journals to support safety and efficacy.
  • No reported safety concerns.
  • Comprehensive ingredient list.
  • Largely positive customer reviews.

Cons

  • It is not FDA-approved.
  • Continued supplementation is likely needed to sustain results.
  • It is not vegan, organic, or appropriate for those with a shellfish allergy.
  • Studies have been done on small groups, possibly limiting the representation of larger populations.

What Is Viviscal?

Viviscal is a hair health brand with over 25 years of studying hair loss.

Hormone changes, age, genetics, poor nutrition, and even daily stress impact your hair’s health. (1)

Viviscal’s hair growth supplement promises to combat hair loss by providing vital nutrients to the hair follicles and supporting the anagen phase of hair growth.

The three phases of hair growth include: (2)

  1. Anagen Phase: The active stage of hair growth.
  2. Catagen Phase: The transitional stage between growth and rest — this is when the outer part of the hair attaches to the root.
  3. Telogen Phase: The resting stage of the hair before shedding.

According to their clinical trials, the hair supplement leads to stronger, thicker hair within six months. (3)

Viviscal claims its products meet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements —  however, they are not FDA-approved.

Does It Work?

Several clinical trials have been completed to support the efficacy and safety of Viviscal supplements in nourishing thinning hair and promoting hair growth. (4)

In particular, a 3-month study evaluated the effect of their trademarked AminoMar marine complex to increase hair growth and decrease shedding in women with thinning hair. (5)

The women in the study group were instructed to take one tablet of the Viviscal supplement twice daily — morning and evening.

They were asked to follow their typical hair care routine and maintain the same color, style, and cut during the study duration.

After 90 days, the researchers concluded the safety and efficacy of the AminoMar marine complex.

Further research has supported supplementation in improving the overall thickness of hair, reporting an 80% increase in hair growth after six months of supplementation. (6)

Finally, an additional study found a statistically significant reduction in hair shedding following six months of supplementation. (7)

While studies have indicated a positive link between supplementation and hair growth, they are limited to a small sample size.

More robust research would be helpful to determine efficacy on a larger population.

Finally, it is worth noting that Viviscal funded all this research.

Summary 

Several clinical studies support the effectiveness of the Viviscal supplement. While results may be seen in as little as three months, 6 months of supplementation is ideal.

Evaluation of Ingredients

Viviscal supplements contain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that may decrease hair shedding and improve hair health.

The ingredients include:

  • Millet Seed Extract, 7.5 mg: High in omega-3 fatty acids, research has linked fish oil and omega-3 supplementation to increased hair growth. (8)

  • Zinc, 11 mg: Researchers have determined that zinc may play a role in the protein synthesis involved in hair production and support the production of hair follicles. (9)

  • Iron, 10 mg: Hair loss is a common sign of iron deficiency — it is necessary to consume enough iron to ensure healthy hair growth. (10)

  • Niacin, 12 mg: A vital B vitamin that promotes blood flow and may encourage thicker hair growth by supplying the hair follicles with nutrients through increased blood flow. (11)

  • Biotin, 120 mcg: A well-known B vitamin often used within hair and nail supplements — however, research is inconclusive on the efficacy of supplemental use(12)

  • Vitamin C, 59 mg: A potent antioxidant and vitamin that plays an essential role in collagen production and helps the body absorb iron — both are important for supporting hair health. (9)

  • Calcium, 60 mg: An essential element for hair health, research has found 200 times the calcium in hair than in the blood. (13)

  • AminoMar® Marine Complex, 450 mg: This is Viviscal’s trademarked ingredient — it is made from shark cartilage and mollusk powder (derived from oysters). According to clinical research, these ingredients may help regenerate new hair growth. (5)

  • Horsetail Extract, 36.7 mg: Taken from the horsetail plant, it is a good source of zinc and silica — both minerals have been linked to improvement in hair growth. (14)

While Viviscal’s ingredients are linked to improved hair health, the level of supplementation required for results may vary from person to person.

As for non-active ingredients, Viviscal does contain artificial orange flavoring.

While the FDA states that low levels of artificial flavors pose a low risk, it is important to be mindful of these ingredients in our daily consumption. (15)

Summary

Viviscal is made from clinically researched ingredients that have been shown to benefit hair health.

Dosage, Side Effects, and Safety

According to the website, you will need to take one Viviscal hair supplement twice a day — morning and night.

The product comes in a one-month supply, but it is recommended to take the supplement for a minimum of three months, with six months providing the best results.

According to their website, once the 6-month period is over, you may want to continue supplementing with one pill a day to maintain hair growth.

Research indicates no known side effects or safety concerns. (4)

However, if you have a shellfish allergy, you should avoid this supplement as shark cartilage and mollusk could cause adverse reactions.

Finally, according to the company, if you are pregnant, nursing, or under 18, you should not take this supplement.

Summary

Supplementation requires two pills a day — morning and night. Sustained hair growth may require continued supplementation of one pill a day.

Cost

There are various options for purchasing Viviscal hair supplements.

One-Time Delivery

  • 1-month supply: $33.99, excluding the cost of shipping
  • 3-month supply: $101.97, excluding the cost of shipping

Auto-Shipment of 3-Month Supply

To reduce the cost of the product, you may sign up for the auto-shipment program.

  • 30-day: $33.33/month
  • 90-day: $99.99/every three months

You will receive free shipping on auto-ship and orders over $110.

Finally, if you are not satisfied with your product, Viviscal offers a 90-day Money Back Guarantee on all purchases made directly through their website.

Any purchases made through third-party retailers are not eligible for the 90-day Money Back Guarantee.

Who Is It For?

As a nutrition professional, my recommendation is to always start with changes to your diet before leaning on supplementation.

If you have ensured your diet is well balanced and you have addressed any deficiencies with your physician, this supplement may be an appropriate next step.

Viviscal may help if you are experiencing thinning hair with excess shedding and hoping to achieve thicker hair with increased growth.

The product is costly and may need to be continued indefinitely to maintain hair growth — therefore, considering your budget is essential when choosing this treatment.

Summary

It is always best to make changes to your diet first. If you have done that and addressed any deficiencies with your physician, this supplement may help you improve your hair growth.

Comparison to Alternatives

Nutrafol

Nutrafol is a popular hair growth supplement intended to treat thinning hair.

The supplement includes an extensive list of ingredients, including:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Biotin
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Amino Acids: Cysteine, lysine, methionine
  • Black Pepper

It also contains a patented blend called Synergen Complex.

Some of the standout ingredients include:

  • Marine Collagen
  • Ashwagandha: An herb associated with stress and hormone support (16)
  • Vitamin E
  • Turmeric
  • Keratin
  • Horsetail

Nutrafol also notes that its product is made without gluten, dairy, soy, hormones, drugs, and artificial additives, and is non-GMO.

A 6-month study determined that 80% of individuals who took Nutrafol saw an increase in hair growth and thickness, and 73% saw an increase in growth rate. (17)

Nutrafol comes at a higher price point — however, it does include consultations with a physician.

Purchase options include:

  • Monthly delivery: $79, a 1-month supply + free doctor consults
  • 3-month delivery: $224, refills delivered every three months + free doctor consults
  • 6-month delivery: $422, refills delivered every 6 months + free doctor consults
  • One bottle: $88, one-time delivery, one month supply

For best results, it is recommended to take four pills a day for six months.

You may pause or cancel your subscription at any time.

Ultimately, while clinical studies back both, the ingredient list in Nutrafol is more extensive than Viviscal, and the option to consult with a physician adds value.

However, Nutrafol does come at a higher price point, which is an important consideration when committing to supplementation.

Summary 

Both Nutrafol and Viviscal are backed by research. Nutrafol has a more extensive list of vitamins and minerals in their supplement, but it does come at a higher price point.

Moon Juice SuperHair

MoonJuice SuperHair is another popular hair supplement on the market.

Unlike Viviscal and Nutrafol, this product is vegan.

Moon Juice’s main ingredients include:

  • Ashwagandha
  • Saw Palmetto
  • Kelp
  • Horsetail Extract
  • Iron
  • Iodine
  • Zinc
  • A Blend of Vitamins: Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K

MoonJuice claims its ingredients are 100% traceable and sustainably sourced.

While these vitamins and nutrients may support hair growth, there have not been any clinical studies to support MoonJuice’s claims of promoting thicker, stronger hair.

MoonJuice recommends taking four capsules a day for four months to see results.

The cost of MoonJuice is more expensive than Viviscal.

Purchase options include:

  • One time purchase: $60 for a one-month supply
  • Monthly subscription: $54 recurring monthly charge

You may cancel your subscription at any time, and refunds are available for items purchased in the last 45 days.

While MoonJuice’s ingredient list is impressive, it is difficult to speak to the accuracy of the claims without any supporting clinical research.

If you are looking for a vegan product, and the price works within your budget, this may be an appropriate supplement to address nutrient needs.

Summary 

There is no research to back the claims of MoonJuice’s hair supplement. The product does cost more than Viviscal, but it is vegan, which may be attractive to some.

HUM Hair Sweet Hair

A different take on hair supplements, HUM offers a hair supplement in the form of gummy bears.

These gluten-free, vegan gummies promise thicker, stronger hair within four months.

According to its website, the products are verified by independent labs for potency and triple-tested for purity.

HUM Hair Sweet Hair ingredients include:

  • Folic Acid
  • Biotin
  • Vitamin B12
  • Zinc
  • PABA: An organic compound possibly linked to reducing grey hairs (18)

While their products are formulated with researched back ingredients, their hair formula has yet to be clinically tested.

HUM recommends taking two gummies a day for a minimum of four months to see results.

The cost is for a one-month supply is $26.

If you are vegan or looking to try a hair product without as high of a financial commitment, this may be a good option.

Summary 

HUM Hair Sweet Hair offers a unique take on hair supplements with their gummy bears. However, the supplement itself is not backed by research.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Viviscal FDA-approved?

Viviscal hair supplement is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Does Viviscal have any known side effects?

According to its clinical research, there are no known side effects or safety concerns.

If you are pregnant, nursing, under 18, or allergic to shellfish and seafood this product is not recommended.

How long before you see results?

According to Viviscal’s clinical research, you should begin to see results around three months, with the most significant results appearing by six months.

Does Viviscal increase hair growth in other parts of the body?

According to Viviscal's website, this product works with your natural hair growth cycle and pattern. Unwanted hair growth has not yet been reported.

The Bottom Line

Viviscal hair supplements are backed by several clinical trials, six of which have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

If you have already addressed your diet and are still looking to improve your hair health with supplementation, this may be an option.

Viviscal reports increased hair growth and thickness within three months of supplementation, with optimal results seen by six months.

However, you may need to continue supplementation once a day for sustained growth — this is an important consideration when deciding if this is the best option for you.

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At WellnessVerge, we only use primary references for our articles, including peer reviewed medical journals or well-respected academic institutions.

  1. Taylor & Francis Online: Systemic causes of hair loss:
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07853890.2016.1180426
  2. ScienceDirect: Hair Growth:
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/hair-growth#:~:text=The%20hair%20growth%20cycle%20has,and%20the%20resting%20phase%2C%20telogen.&text=The%20cells%20of%20anagen%20hairs,rapidly%20replicating%20cells%20in%20humans.
  3. Viviscal dietary supplements are supported by clinical studies:
    https://www.viviscal.com/clinically-proven-studies
  4. Viviscal Professional Hair Growth Program: Clinical Trials and Conducted Research:
    https://viviscalprofessional.com/static/version1613467852/frontend/Magento/viv_pro/en_US/files/ClinicalTrialsBooklet_LR.pdf
  5. A 3-Month, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study Evaluating the Ability of an Extra-Strength Marine Protein Supplement to Promote Hair Growth and Decrease Shedding in Women with Self-Perceived Thinning Hair - PMC:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4389977/
  6. A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Multi-center, Extension Trial Evaluating the Efficacy of a New Oral Supplement in Women with Self-perceived Thinning Hair - PMC:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4689507/
  7. A Marine Protein-based Dietary Supplement for Subclinical Hair Thinning/Loss: Results of a Multisite, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial - PMC:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4738482/
  8. Effect of a nutritional supplement on hair loss in women - PubMed:
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25573272/
  9. Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use - PMC:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/
  10. The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review - PMC:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6380979/
  11. A pilot study evaluating the efficacy of topically applied niacin derivatives for treatment of female pattern alopecia - PubMed:
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17168873/
  12. A Review of the Use of Biotin for Hair Loss - PMC:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5582478/
  13. Nutrition of women with hair loss problem during the period of menopause - PMC:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4828511/
  14. A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study Evaluating the Efficacy of an Oral Supplement in Women with Self-perceived Thinning Hair - PMC:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3509882/
  15. FDA Removes 7 Synthetic Flavoring Substances from Food Additives List | FDA:
    https://www.fda.gov/food/cfsan-constituent-updates/fda-removes-7-synthetic-flavoring-substances-food-additives-list
  16. An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda - PMC:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/#:~:text=Ashwagandha%20(Withania%20somnifera%2C%20fam.,its%20wide%20ranging%20health%20benefits.
  17. A Six-Month, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study Evaluating the Safety and Efficacy of a Nutraceutical Supplement for Promoting Hair Growth in Women With Self-Perceived Thinning Hair - JDDonline - Journal of Drugs in Dermatology:
    https://jddonline.com/articles/a-six-month-randomized-double-blind-placebo-controlled-study-evaluating-the-safety-and-efficacy-of-a-S1545961618P0558X/?_page=7
  18. Medication-Induced Repigmentation of Gray Hair: A Systematic Review - PMC:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6995950/